SkepSun #91 (05_18_2014)

On Freethought Radio, Dan Barker and Anne Laurie Gaylor announce a national TV ad by Ron Reagan to air on Comedy Central and talk with members of the Northeast Ohio FFRF chapter about the 11 “Out of the Closet” billboards they put up in the Cleveland-Akron area. They the we speak with Susan Galloway, plaintiff in the Greece vs. Galloway Supreme Court case in which the Court expanded the right of cities to include sectarian prayer in government meetings.The rest of SkepSun this week focuses on science denial in America: how it’s hurting us as a society and why we do it. First we hear a TED talk delivered by Michael Specter, New Yorker staff writer and author of the book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives. Specter argues that Americans have increasingly come to mistrust institutions, especially the institution of science and maintain personal beliefs regardless of the evidence. So why do so many of us, maybe even all of us to some extent, deny science? What’s going on in our heads? Writer Chris Mooney (who we know of course as the former host of Point of Inquiry and current host of the Inquiring Minds podcast) describes the science of science denial in a recent lecture at the at UC Berkeley. Mooney is the author of four books, including Unscientific America and the New York Times bestseller The Republican War on Science. He is a contributing writer at Mother Jones and also hosts Climate Desk Live.

 

The causes and costs of denying science

The causes and costs of denying science

 

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2 comments

  1. I’m a big fan of Skeptical Sunday, but the topic of science denialism on today’s show (#91) is especially important. Mooney’s talk on the science and psychology of denialism is a much-needed antidote to the apparently wide-spread belief (among atheists, other skeptics) that logic and evidence should be sufficient to convince believers of the error of their ways (so to speak!). Ignoring the influence on believers of cultural constructs such as individualism will seriously undermine the effectiveness of our advocacy efforts. Kathy Nelson, Ithaca.

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